Who knew that a cookie could teach so much! This year, as part of our campaign A Voice for Justice calling for an ombudsman for responsible mining, we gave students the opportunity to understand the realities faced by communities in the Global South when a mining company doesn’t respect their rights. How? By mining cookies!
April 17th marked International Day of Peasant Struggles. This day was launched in Eldorado dos Carajas, Brazil, in 1996, after the assassination of 19 peasants who were members of Brazil’s Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST), a Development and Peace partner. Around the world, peasants are struggling daily against deforestation, land grabbing, the polluting of water and soil, but also to improve their living conditions.
In Honduras’ mountainous southern department of La Paz, mornings are chilly and the altitude is ideal for coffee growing. Here, the dark-skinned indigenous Lenca people make up 80% of the population. Yet, from the poverty and the discrimination they endure, one might think they were a minority.
In this community, four out of ten children die before they reach the age of two from a poverty-related disease. Most of the girls become pregnant while still minors, and in the community of Santa Elena alone, eleven women died last year in childbirth.
Anne Catherine Kennedy, Program Officer for Brazil and Kelly Di Domenico, Communications Officer
On October 20th, Development and Peace’s partner organization the Comissão Pastoral da Terra (CPT) in Brazil will be paying homage to Dom Tomás Balduino, who will be celebrating his 90th birthday in December.
Israel Garcia Perez, a member of an Aguan peasant group, was found dead, with bullet wounds marking his body, early morning Saturday July 28th, at the Los Laureles property on the outskirts of Tocoa. His death brought to 52 the number of peasants violently killed in this region in less than 3 years. Israel Garcia Perez had been participating in a land occupation on lands claimed by African palm oil magnate Miguel Facusse, whose security guards are implicated in several executions in the region.
Development and Peace partner NGO Forum in Cambodia is working to defend the land rights of Indigenous communities in the country. They recently released a report entitled "Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Development" that shows how communities are not being consulted when land deals are being made between the government and private companies.